Heating Oil Tank Installation
Heating oil tanks don’t last forever; at some point, they need to be replaced. Or you might be building a new home and are planning on using oil to heat your home. Either way, you will need installation. Depending on the design of the tank, the material it is made from and its thickness, an oil tank needs to be replaced every 15-25 years. In addition, installing a tank can only be done by licensed installers.
Which heating oil tank to install
The type of oil tank you choose has an impact on the installation; in terms of the time it takes to install and the cost. The other factor to consider is where your oil tank is going to be located. Heating oil tanks are made from plastic or fabricated steel, can be installed outside, inside or underground and can be single-skinned, double-skinned or integrally bunded – bunded means that the oil tank has a protective layer on the inside, essentially one tank sitting inside another.
The integrally bunded and double-skinned tanks provide more protection than single-skinned and prevent oil leaking. The tank’s vents and fittings are attached to the outside tank and there is a gap between the two tanks.
Your oil tank will also need to be installed at least 1.8m from your house, as well as any other doors or windows, such as an outbuilding or summerhouse. They should also be sited on a base that is thick enough and sturdy to take the weight of an oil tank when it is full.
Whilst you can purchase an oil tank yourself – they start at around £500 for a single-skinned, small tank – but make sure it is of an OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association) standard.
However, as heating oil tanks can only be installed by a technician/engineer that is OFTEC-registered, it is better to get their assistance in deciding which type and size of oil tank is right for your property.
Installing a heating oil tank
If you are building a new property and have chosen an oil-fired installation, you will also need to consider which boiler is suitable as well as the oil-fired appliances you are going to need, such as an AGA or a Rayburn.
If you already have a heating oil tank and you need this replaced, the oil heating engineers will be able to safely remove the old tank and replace it with a new one. Your oil-fired appliances will still be connected as they were to the old tank, however, you may find that you will need to also replace the boiler as a new heating oil tank will be far more efficient and modern.
The process for removing an old heating oil tank and installing a new tank must comply with building regulations, OFTEC’s guidelines and oil storage regulations. Once you have agreed the cost, the engineers will:
- Pump out any oil remaining in the old tank to a safe holding tank
- The old tank will be disconnected from your boiler and other appliances, then safely removed. The majority of the time, old oil tanks will be recycled according to best practices and environmental codes.
- Your old oil tank feed pipeline will be pressure tested to ensure it can be reused. If it isn’t, the engineers will replace the pipeline.
- Once the oil tank has been removed, you will be able to see if the base is of sufficient standard to take the new tank. If not, you may find that you must reinforce the old base as well.
- The new heating oil tank will be installed and connected to the oil feed pipeline
- Your remaining oil will then be pumped out of the holding tank and into your newly installed oil tank
- All the oil pipes, appliances and boiler will be bled, i.e. ensuring there are no air bubbles trapped, and then tested before opening the tank’s valve and allowing the oil to flow through
- The engineer will ignite the boiler and check that all your oil-fired appliances are working correctly
Once the engineer and you are happy with the installation, you will be issued with an OFTEC CD10 completion report and the installation will be registered with OFTEC, who will send you a Certificate of Conformity.
Heating oil tank installation regulations
All heating oil engineers receive training to install heating oil tanks and must follow specific OFTEC guidelines as well as regulations. In some cases, the guidelines state that only an integrally bunded tank can be installed, which includes:
- In Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of man
- If it is being installed in Wales (from 15th March 2016)
- The capacity of the oil tank is over 2,500 litres
- The oil tank is located within 10 metres of a controlled water source or within 50 metres of a spring or borehole
- It is located where any oil leak could lead to oil running into an open drain or manhole cover that is not fitted properly, or into a controlled water source
- Where a vent pipe outlet is not visible from the fill point
- Is supplying a building that is more than just a single family home
- Is situated in one of England’s ‘Groundwater Source Protection Zone 1’ areas or subject to any other potential hazard that pertains to that site, such as a flood risk area.
There are also fire protection regulations that must be adhered to in accordance with OFTEC’s fire hazard checklist. Where there is a potential fire risk, such as the tank being situated 1.8m from an exhaust duct or chimney opening. We offer a supply of oil tanks and fitting service in partnership with Harlequin and their network of TankMark accredited installers.
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